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20121201
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. the middle east editor is in damascus and sent this report on the battle for an increasingly divided city. >> damascus is at the heart of the bloodiest arab uprising. they keep them under tight security that squeezes traffic down the main road. the capitals still functions. but the battle for damascus is under way. it is happening in the suburbs after months of shelling and air strikes. it is controlled by the rebels the claim they own about one- third of greater damascus. the rebels only have pockets of ground. these were blocks of flats. all sides should distinguish between civilians hiding. almost every building is damaged, which suggests is being treated as a military target. >> they sought a bomb and a barrel of explosives dropped from the helicopter. the blitz is breaking the city and breaking lives. it isn't breaking with the president's enemies. >> they have shown that they have the stomach for a fight. they can endure pain and they have the conviction that if they don't, they will be killed. the question for them is what more they will have to do. the fighters showed off what the
, trucks loaded with people's belongings make their way through the streets of the city. human rights organizations said that in the country as a whole, some 2.5 million people are not displaced. that is leaving aside all those who fled to neighboring countries. at this mass in damascus, the new syrian orthodox patriarch called for an end to the violence. >> we in antioch, he said, have got to inspire all parties in flaming the conflict to lay down their weapons they get nothing but destruction and devastation. for now, the conflict and deteriorating weather conditions inflict increasing misery on civilians. the prospect of peace through dialogue seems beyond reach. >> for more news around the world, there have been clashes in egypt was the second city of alexandria on the eve of the second stage of voting on the country's controversial constitution. islamists who backed the constitution were met by smaller groups of opposition protesters. police fired tear gas and cordoned off the area. italy's prime minister has resigned, meaning the country will go to the polls in february. mario m
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